Today is Martin Luther King Jr.’s Day in the United States, and I was thinking about this quote:

“I just want to do God’s will. And He’s allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I’ve looked over. And I’ve seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land…” – Martin Luther King Jr.

Then my mind wandered to the Bible story of when the Israelites crossed the Jordan River to enter into the Promised Land.  It was a unique story of preparation, faith, and action.  While wandering the wilderness, many of the people had heard about how their parents or grandparents had crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. I bet that one particular story had become so legendary that it was starting to feel larger-than-life or even untrue.

More legends, More stories…

I can hear the young Israelites say, “Honestly?  You guys literally crossed the Red Sea on dry ground? That’s like the time you told me that you walked to school, bare-footed, uphill both ways, carrying your books and your siblings on your back… while making bricks for the Egyptians…”

How many times have you heard stories of world changing moments and replied, “Here we go again… more legends, more folklore that must be told and retold…” Sure people like MLK have changed the world in the past, but that is not possible now… right?

Notice that this mentality changed when the Israelites crossed Jordan — it was not a legend.  It became their story.

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Photo Credit: Associated Press

Where is our hope?

I worry that if you and I don’t have PERSONAL moments that define us and our ambitions, like crossing Jordan was for the next-generation of Israel, then you and I run the risk of not believing in the power that can change the world.  You must have a true encounter with a force that is stronger, deeper, and broader than the dark circumstances in the world.  If not, our generation will surely lose hope! 

How can there be noble progress in the world if there is a not a force that is stronger than EVIL?  What can initiate and sustain the change that we desperately desire?  Who will vanquish evil if you and I believe that the power of GOOD does not exist anymore…?  You must believe that something like the Red Sea crossing can happen again in our lifetime…  you need to cross your own version of Jordan.

Let us take action!

Today, I am deeply inspired and humbled by the work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., so I say with conviction, you must continue to dream big.  Dream that you and I will enter the Promised Land one day.  Dream that you and I will have a land with no poverty, no injustice, and no oppression.  When the time comes to do something risky and costly for the Kingdom, like cross the Jordan, let us do it.  Let us take action together.

Let us write it onto the hearts of our children and grandchildren.  Let us share the stories of good triumphing evil.  I believe the mindset of the next-generation Israelites had to be “we will cross Jordan like our forefathers crossed the Red Sea…” The legends and stories of their fathers helped them believe in God, but they needed to experience it on their own.  And they did!  Nothing can stop the surging power of a good and faithful God.  No obstacle.

Never allow stories like the one of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. grow old and stale in your heart.  Be inspired by them, but decide that you want to experience more in your own lifetime.  Keep living for the Kingdom.  I will cross “Jordan” when it arrives, will you come with me?  Will you believe with me?

What are your thoughts? Do you believe that you and I can change the world together?